Acute pancreatitis signals activation of apoptosis-associated and survival genes in mice

Guillermo Gomez, Heung Man Lee, Qin He, Ella W. Englander, Tatsuo Uchida, George H. Greeley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


In experimental models of acute pancreatitis (AP), acinar cell death occurs by both necrosis and programmed cell death or apoptosis. Apoptosis is an active form of cell death associated with a tightly regulated expression of gene products that are either pro- or antiapoptotic. The aim of this study was to characterize pancreatic mRNA levels by Northern blotting analysis of apoptosis-associated genes used during the course of cerulein-induced AP in mice. Histone H3 mRNA levels were also examined as an indicator of cell proliferation. Acinar cell apoptosis was confirmed histologically. The findings show that AP modifies pancreatic mRNA levels of both pro- and antiapoptotic genes simultaneously. Pancreatic bclXL, bax, and p53 mRNA levels increased significantly in a temporal fashion during induction of AP. Pancreatic bcl-2 mRNA levels were unchanged during AP. Pancreatic mRNA levels of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a mitogen and cell survival factor, and its receptor (IGF-1R) also increased in a temporal fashion during induction of AP. In summary, this study indicates that acinar cell death during cerulein-induced AP in mice can occur by the apoptotic pathway. Since factors promoting and antagonistic for cell survival are activated simultaneously, regulation of acinar cell survival appears complex and dynamic during AP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692-700
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Acute pancreatitis
  • Apoptosis
  • Gene products
  • Northern blotting
  • Western blotting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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